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James

Fredericksburg, VA
  • 15
  • reviews
  • 41
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  • 41
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  • The Operator

  • Firing the Shots That Killed Osama Bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior
  • By: Robert O'Neill
  • Narrated by: Robert O'Neill
  • Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 8,413
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,677
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 7,642

Stirringly evocative, thought provoking, and often jaw dropping, The Operator ranges across SEAL Team Operator Robert O'Neill's awe-inspiring 400-mission career that included his involvement in attempts to rescue "Lone Survivor" Marcus Luttrell and abducted-by-Somali-pirates Captain Richard Phillips and culminated in those famous three shots that dispatched the world's most wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Complete inside look into the teams and the life story of a great American patriot

  • By RenegadeTM3 on 04-28-17

MUCH Better Than I Expected!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-04-17

Any additional comments?

I've read a lot of books about the Long War, but this is one of the very best. I was almost reluctant to get this one as I've read several good books about the SEAL experience in general and the mission to kill UBL before--what more was there to know? However, this was the best of the lot, in no small part because the author was also the narrator--no stupid mis-pronouniation of military terms that so often litter military stories read by civilians. O'Neill was telling his story as no one else could and he covered his experiences in a laid back, conversational manner that emphasized the heroism of others far more than his own. This is a very human story that splits focus between his personal and professional lives that anyone whose spent any time in the military can identify with. Another nice touch is how he compares how the movies Captain Phillips and Zero Dark Thirty compare with reality. He even praises President Obama (NOT one of my favorite people) that softened my opinion of him, which I absolutely didn't expect.

  • SpecOps

  • Expeditionary Force, Book 2
  • By: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 15 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,301
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 19,275
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,212

Colonel Joe Bishop made a promise, and he's going to keep it: taking the captured alien starship Flying Dutchman back out. He doesn't agree when the UN decides to send almost 70 elite Special Operations troops, hotshot pilots, and scientists with him; the mission is a fool's errand he doesn't expect to ever return from. At least this time, the Earth is safe, right? Not so much.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Repetitive and watered-down

  • By Daniel on 04-26-17

STUPID MONKEYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-08-17

What did you love best about SpecOps?

Great continuation of the story.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Skippy or Joe, whoever is pulling the other's chain at the moment...

Any additional comments?

HOWEVER, when I went to grab book three, I discovered to my horror that the STUPID MONKEYS running this ship haven't yet completed work on it. OMG, now I'm going to have to wait to find out what happened on Paradise! Will someone please give the appropriate monkeys some bananas so they can finish the third book? NOW!!!!

  • Columbus Day

  • Expeditionary Force, Book 1
  • By: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 16 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26,674
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 25,377
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25,321

The Ruhar hit us on Columbus Day. There we were, innocently drifting along the cosmos on our little blue marble, like the Native Americans in 1492. Over the horizon came ships of a technologically advanced, aggressive culture, and BAM! There went the good old days, when humans got killed only by each other. So, Columbus Day. It fits. When the morning sky twinkled again, this time with Kristang starships jumping in to hammer the Ruhar, we thought we were saved.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sci Fi I didn't know I wanted

  • By Gary Glenn on 06-27-17

I was dubious, but...

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-29-17

What did you love best about Columbus Day?

Craig Alanson was either in the military or hangs out with guys who are/were. The humor sounds military with just the right amount of sarcasm (a LOT); every 15 minutes or so I had a LOL moment! Overall, it was a lot like the movies Dead Pool or Guardians of the Galaxy. Yeah, they were busy saving the Earth and all that, but had a few laughs along the way.

What did you like best about this story?

The interplay between Bishop and his 'talking beer can' sidekick, Skippy, was a lot of fun.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates

  • The Forgotten War That Changed American History
  • By: Brian Kilmeade, Don Yaeger
  • Narrated by: Brian Kilmeade
  • Length: 4 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,988
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,815
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,803

When Thomas Jefferson became president in 1801, America faced a crisis. The new nation was deeply in debt and needed its economy to grow quickly, but its merchant ships were under attack. Pirates from North Africa's Barbary coast routinely captured American sailors and held them as slaves, demanding ransom and tribute payments far beyond what the new country could afford.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting history - terrible narrator

  • By School Nurse Cindy on 12-08-15

Brian, stick to your day job

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-02-17

A compelling bit of history that is instructive for the situation the civilized world finds itself in today. However, Brian Kilmeade's narration was way too rushed for my ears. This works on Fox & Friends when time is constrained, but I prefer a little more relaxed pace when listening to a book. He sounds Iike he's rushing through chapters so he can take a bathroom break!

  • The Last Punisher

  • A SEAL Team Three Sniper's True Account of the Battle of Ramadi
  • By: Kevin Lacz, Ethan E. Rocke, Lincy Lacz
  • Narrated by: Timothy Phillips
  • Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,025
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,821
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,815

The Last Punisher is a bold, no-holds-barred first-person account of the Iraq War. With wry humor and moving testimony, Kevin Lacz tells the story of his tour in Iraq with SEAL Team Three, the warrior elite of the navy. This legendary unit, known as The Punishers, included Chris Kyle ( American Sniper), Mike Monsoor, Ryan Job, and Marc Lee. These brave men were instrumental in securing the key locations in the pivotal 2006 Battle of Ramadi, told with stunning detail in this book.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good story, poorly read

  • By Dusty on 09-03-16

Great Story--poorly narrated

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-12-16

If you've read American Sniper, this book tells the story of one of his deployments from a different perspective. While I enjoyed the story, I was less than impressed with the narration, pacing and overall production of the audiobook.

  • Battle of Surigao Strait

  • Twentieth-Century Battles
  • By: Anthony P. Tully
  • Narrated by: Gary Roelofs
  • Length: 14 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 57
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 51
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 53

Surigao Strait in the Philippine Islands was the scene of a major battleship duel during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Because the battle was fought at night and had few survivors on the Japanese side, the events of that naval engagement have been passed down in garbled accounts. Anthony P. Tully pulls together all of the existing documentary material, including newly discovered accounts and a careful analysis of U.S. Navy action reports, to create a new and more detailed description of the action.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Much Needed History!

  • By Chiefkent on 09-09-14

Frustrating Listen

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-01-16

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Unless you're already familiar with this sea battle and the geography of the area, you're going to find this a very hard account to follow.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Battle of Surigao Strait?

The accounts of the sea battles and the incredible bravery of the Japanese sailors in the face of overwhelming odds was really admirable. The book's primary focus is on the actions of the Japanese fleet.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Where to begin? If I hear Lay-TEE gulf one more time, I'll scream! It would be nice if some narrators with military experience could be found; some of us actually can read. The one example that comes to mind is where the book mentions headings as (for example) 030T and the narrator says 030-TEE rather than 030 True. There are other similar things, but the basic point is he was reading the words, but I don't think he knew what they meant.

Could you see Battle of Surigao Strait being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

It would be a very interesting documentary. The audio book would GREATLY benefit from a pdf of maps to help the listener visualize the account. I was able to find a couple of maps on line that helped a little, but having at least one map per chapter would have helped immensely.

Any additional comments?

You should probably consider getting the book in addition to the audio ASSUMING the book includes maps. You'll get much more out of the account IF that's the case.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Neptune's Inferno

  • The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal
  • By: James D. Hornfischer
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 18 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 965
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 816
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 817

With The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors and Ship of Ghosts, James D. Hornfischer created essential and enduring narratives about America’s World War II Navy, works of unique immediacy distinguished by rich portraits of ordinary men in extremis and exclusive new information. Now he does the same for the deadliest, most pivotal naval campaign of the Pacific war: Guadalcanal.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Desperate battles, well told

  • By Robert B on 05-04-12

Mind-blowing heroism...and buffoonery

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-26-15

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I wanted to learn a little more about the battle for Guadalcanal--boy did this ever deliver!

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The descriptions of the sea battles were horrifying, but really brought home the heroism of the individual sailors.

Any additional comments?

I kind of expected to learn more about the ground actions, and there is some of that, but this is primarily about the sea battles. As wonderful as the line sailors performed, their heroism is made even more poignant by the realization of how poorly led they were in many cases. I'd also encourage listeners to Google Guadalcanal before starting and downloading all the maps that describe the sea battles. The narrative is good, but having the maps to refer to will make it MUCH easier to comprehend.

  • The Hunter Killers

  • By: Dan Hampton
  • Narrated by: John Pruden
  • Length: 11 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 341
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 324
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 323

A gripping chronicle of the band of maverick aviators who signed on for the suicidal, dangerous top-secret "Wild Weasel" missions during the Vietnam War - which used controversial and revolutionary tactics to combat Soviet missile technology - from New York Times best-selling author Dan Hampton.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • False Advertising

  • By Stephen Ford on 08-31-15

A Wild Weasel Primer

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-26-15

Any additional comments?

This is an excellent book for someone who has little or no previous knowledge of the Vietnam War in general or the Wild Weasel mission in particular. If you are well versed on those topics, you might be a bit let down. Easily half the book is devoted to historical background and explaining technical topics.The remainder are the 'war stories' (which is what I wanted to hear). I'm not at all saying that this is a bad book, it was just hamstrung a bit by all the background information, which may be helpful for most listeners--just not this one..

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Defiant: Grid Down

  • By: John W. Vance
  • Narrated by: Joseph Morton
  • Length: 6 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 642
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 591
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 589

When Nicholas McNeil, a father and dedicated husband, turned out the lights in his suburban home Sunday night, they would never turn on again. During the early Monday morning hours, a spectacular and well-coordinated attack destroys the grid and brings the United States to its knees.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A better SHTF novel.

  • By Corey J. Polesel on 05-09-15

Good Start to a New Series

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-08-15

Would you consider the audio edition of The Defiant: Grid Down to be better than the print version?

I compare this story to One Second After, another EMP event novel. This one, written by a Marine (there are no ex or former Marines!), is a bit quicker with the gunplay. One thing that stuck with me from OSA, was how the lack of refrigeration would ultimately be fatal to diabetics. Thus far this story hasn't broached that kind of topic.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I liked all the main characters. There was one 'bad guy' who escaped justice--hopefully that will be addressed in a future volume!

Which character – as performed by Joseph Morton – was your favorite?

The back story of how the EMP attack was executed is still a bit murky, but seems to focus on the Russians being the perpetrators. Given the state of the world today, it would be a much more interesting story if it was the Iranians that did it, with our inept government assuming it was the Russians, retaliating against them and causing an even worse situation than they were initially confronted with.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It would be interesting if instead of total gloom and doom our merry band came upon a part of the country that had had their electrical grid hardened against EMP to show that such grim scenarios will only result because of the inattention of our leaders.

Any additional comments?

Generally a good performance. BUT, within the chapters the story flips between four stories. The narrator quickly reads the location where the next part of the story then plunges on. In future narrations of this series he needs to pause for a couple of seconds before reading the location and the next part of the story--that will make the story much easier to follow.

  • Stonewalled

  • My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington
  • By: Sharyl Attkisson
  • Narrated by: Laural Merlington
  • Length: 15 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 427
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 396
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 395

Seasoned CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson reveals how she has been electronically surveilled while digging deep into the Obama Administration and its scandals, and offers an incisive critique of her industry and the shrinking role of investigative journalism in today's media.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Reporting

  • By Michael G. Boyd on 12-30-14

MSM = Liberal Propganda

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-01-15

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The narration was a little annoying. No offense, but the tone was a bit accusatory--sounding a bit like an ex-wife. The text is damning enough--added attitude wasn't really necessary!

Any additional comments?

Liberals really need to read/listen to this book--I know, I know, they won't do anything that will take them out of their soothing MSM-induced comfort zone--but they really should make an exception. This book explains why it's not so much what the evening newscasts report, but what's suppressed that's the problem. It takes one through all of the major Obama regime scandals, the revelation of the unresponsiveness of the regime to requests for documents that would unmask their anti-American agenda and the MSM's active efforts assist them. A truly disgusting and frightening exposé.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful